MUniversity of Minnesota

June 08, 2006

The never ending battle against spam

As you may have noticed, blog spam has been especially fierce over the past week or so at UThink headquarters is always thinking of new ways to thwart it. As many of you have discovered, blog spam typically happens on older entries. Spammers are more interested in getting their links into search engines than they are with their comments actually being read. You may not know this, but UThink has a plugin installed that will automatically shut off comments on blog entries that have fallen off a blog home page, or that haven't been inactive for a set number of days. The plugin is called MT-CloseComments and it has a whole bunch of easy to use settings that should help you fight the never ending battle of spam.

If you have a blog that does not moderate comments (new UThink blogs are set up to moderate comments by default) I recommend that you make use of the MT-CloseComments plugin. The link above has some more detailed instructions, but essentially to make it work for you all you need to do is add a line like this to your "Main Index" template:

<MTCloseComments inactive="3">

What this line will do is automatically close comments for entries that have both fallen off your blog home page, and that have been inactive for 3 days. By inactive I mean entries that have not been commented on for three days. Or you could try something like this:

<MTCloseComments old="30" inactive="30">

What this line does is automatically shuts off comments on entries that are 30 days old or older, and that have been inactive for 30 days. This might come in handy when you've got a popular post that still seems to get comments and you want to give people time to say all they want to say.

Again, all you have to do is add this to the "Main Index" template (anywhere in the template) for your blog, then save and rebuild your blog. The plugin will go through all your existing entries and shut off comments on ones where the criteria you specify is met.

Again, new blogs are automatically set to moderate comments, so for many of you this won't be necessary (if you'd like to shut off moderation check this out), but if you've opened up comments and you are getting some spam this may come in handy. Until next time!

Posted by snackeru at June 8, 2006 09:08 AM